Robert Joseph Nikolai, 84, of Washington Island, passed away at home on Sunday morning, October 20, 2019.
He was born August 28, 1935 in Kenosha, son of the late Richard August and Roselyn Mary (Wyk) Nikolai. Bob graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Kenosha with the Class of 1953. He then went on to study at Marquette University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1957. Bob worked at Tri-Clover Manufacturing in Kenosha for 36 years until his retirement. On February 20, 1960, he was united in marriage with Margaret “Peg” J. Andersen at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Kenosha. Together, they retired to Washington Island. He and Peg are members of Stella Maris Parish. Bob was also a member of the Washington Island Lions Club.
Bob thoroughly enjoyed his retirement. He took pride in refinishing antiques and selling them at Island Fantasy Gifts. He collected antique cars and took his grandchildren and great-grandchildren “Jeeping” in his 1946 Willy’s Jeep, always ending at the ice cream stand. He loved going deer hunting with his sons and grandsons and cheering on the Green Bay Packers. Bob always made sure his cookie jar was filled with homemade chocolate chip cookies and made sure Peg knew when it was empty.
Bob will be missed by his loving wife of 59 years, Peg; sons, Robert A. (Diana), Thomas (Patricia), and James (Charlene); grandchildren, Jake and Dana Nikolai, Pete (Lydia) Nikolai, Sara (Jimmy) Doering, and Alison (Jake) Farm, Megan, Melissa, and Jack Mutchler, and Brittany, Nathan, Hunter, and Jeromy Nikolai; great-grandchildren, Owen, Hailey, Clara, Ryker, and Liam; two sisters, Alice Egan and Audrey Martin; sisters-in-law, Nancy Cannan and Laurie Hackbarth; and son-in-law, Jack Mutchler.
He was preceded in death by his parents and daughter, Kristin Mutchler.
A Mass of Christian Burial to honor Bob’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, 1763 Town Line Rd., Washington Island, Wisconsin 54246. Bob will be laid to rest in the Washington Island Town Cemetery.
Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Bob’s name to Stella Maris Parish, Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Bethel Ev. Free Church, or Washington Island Lions Club.